Previous Presentations – With Associated Recordings and Corresponding Materials

June, 2024 – Our Vice President, Margaret Myatt, spoke on Maine Points, WGAN.  with Danny Martignetti on WGAN’s talking points during the first week on June, 2024. 

Our Vice President, Margaret Myatt, spoke on Maine Points, WGAN.  with Danny Martignetti on WGAN’s talking points during the first week on June, 2024. 

She and Danny chatted informally about what is happening with our new chapter and hopefully everyone listens – especially hearing loss folks.

The radio image link below brings you to the Maine Points audio that lasts about 28 minutes. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024 –  The Emotional Side of Hearing Loss.

Jeffrey Wax,LCSW-R, will be our guest speaker. He is the Director of NY’s Emotional Health and Wellness Center for Hearing and Communication.  He provides counseling services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, regardless of hearing ability, age, etc.

Click HERE to see a recording of the presentation.   The passcode is


March 21, 2024 –  Cybersecurity and Hearing Loss.

Andy Chandler, discussed further ways to protect yourself and your data from online threats and phone scams.

Cybersecurity threats

What does Hearing Loss have to do with Cybersecurity? A lot, actually. Daily, we are bombarded with phishing attacks, security warnings, and fraud alerts. How do we protect ourselves from identity theft, loss of funds, and loss of reputation? Especially when it comes to the dreaded … telephone?

With over 20 years of cybersecurity experience, and as a lifelong hearing aid wearer and recent CI recipient, Andy provided tips and tricks to keep you safe not only from cybercriminals and social media, but also from those persistent alerts from the “IRS”, “Social Security”, and the … (big voice) “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT” (none, of course, which are real). And those cyber “invites” seeking friendship – are they really friends? Or are they preying on the sense of isolation we sometimes feel as individuals with hearing loss? Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Feb 15, 2024 –  Tom’s Jaunt Through the Ears and Years
Cartoon style picture similar to how Tom looked circa 2012 CE.
Tom Watson III as Bitmoji image.

Tom Watson III shared a short fun virtual trip (see links below)  through his 60-ish year life from hearing to hard-of-hearing to deaf². This led to taking part in the creation of the HLAA Downeast Chapter in Maine, and becoming an advocate for HOH folks via our ongoing mission.

Optimism and a sense of humor counteract frustrations with assistive listening devices and other technology.

Tom experienced all 4 stages of hearing loss: mild, moderate, severe, and profound. Hearing aids mostly worked until November of 2022. Stress and noise damaged the nerve inside his brain, thus cochlear implants are not an option. Each stage affected his career programming medical software, as well as his life choices after retiring.

He shared what worked versus what didn’t work with hearing aids, some other organizations he belongs to, and how keeping play in our lives can reduce both stress and the negative emotions.

What worked: speed reading (much simpler than lip reading), captions, social media, chat rooms, and asking folks to rephrase rather than repeat what they said.

Tom’s links :

Links and info from participants:

  • Portland Press Article “… Read My Lips? Not if You Can’t See Them.”, however, you may get only a brief glimpse of it before being asked to subscribe to their online newspaper.
  • Check out Hi-There Solutions for some advanced technology that is going to make a huge difference in communication between deaf and hard of hearing folks.

Footnote 2: There is a significant difference between “deaf” and “Deaf”, particularly when it is not the first word of a sentence. Capital D indicates Deaf culture; lowercase indicates the physical condition.

 January 17, 2024 –  ‘Ask An Audiologist”  The lead audiologist from Northeast Hearing and Speech joined us via Zoom to answer our questions about hearing aids, audiograms,  hearing evaluations, and how to buy hearing aids.
Northeast Hearing and Speech has been helping folks like us for 100 years! “Since 1924, Northeast Hearing & Speech has been providing speech-language pathology and audiology services, as well as the latest hearing aid technology for people of all ages.”* The lead audiologist, Laura Keech, answered our questions regarding auditory exams, what an audiologist does, and other hearing loss related questions.
Laura is originally from upstate New York; she grew up in the Finger Lakes area and earned her Doctorate of Audiology at Syracuse University. She finished her degree in Portland, Maine, completing a residency year at Northeast Hearing and Speech. Laura says she is very fortunate to stay on with Northeast full time, and has  been with the practice for three years. She originally was drawn to the field after a service trip to Ethiopia during college, where she worked with the Deaf / Hard of Hearing community there. Her current area of interest is diagnostics and hearing aids for all ages; with her youngest patients being newborns, and  oldest at 103. She greatly enjoys working at a non-profit like Northeast Hearing and Speech which allows her to go the extra mile for her patients.
Nov. 11th, 2023 – And We Had Another Delightful Luncheon Gathering – This One In Deer Isle
Yes! Our HLAA DownEast Chapter had another small gathering on November 11th in Deer Isle after our small gathering on November 4th in South Portland.  We all know that good things come in small packages, and these were very good packages, er…. gatherings. In Deer Isle, three people visited Pat in her lovely Deer Isle home.  There was a new person from Sullivan, ME which is a drive!  She learned about the meeting because Pat put up a poster in a nearby YMCA!  Thank you Pat.

We are moving around the state and trying to find you.
We want hearing loss Mainers to get together no matter where we are! And we can Zoom together too. Yup. We are reaching out to each other.  Let’s keep reaching!
Nov 4, 2023 – It was a delightful HLAA DownEast chapter luncheon in South Portland.

It was a small group, five, but we chatted up a storm.  We talked about Bluetooth, hearing aids, favorite books and  movies.  And how captions at movies don’t work well, but at least we all try!   What could be funnier than hard-of-hearing people gathering together for a social?  Huh?  What did you say?  Excuse me?  Actually, NOT funny but fun! We made the best of it. 

Sept 9, 2023 – Inaugural Annual Get-Together and it  Was Loads of Fun!

Our HLAA DownEast Chapter had its first annual ‘in person’ gathering at Riverfront Barbecue & Grille in Augusta and it was a wonderful luncheon!  Ten of  us made the long haul from our distant Maine towns and we were all glad we did. Riverfront was marvelous to turn off the loud background music, the service was fantastic, the food was delicious, and we were able to re-arrange the furniture to help meet our needs as ..,. [Read more] 

August 15 – 2023 –  In person,  `How Hearing Loss Affects Family Life` by Pat Dobbs.

Pat led a lively discussion about how we deal with hearing loss at home.  Thanks to the Ellsworth Public Library for providing  the room and visual equipment.

June 8, 2023 –  Online Zoom meeting, ‘Our Hearing Loss Challenges, Solutions, etc.’ moderated by Pat Dobbs.

Click here to watch the Zoom recording, which is captioned. Use passcode: ^tt0WCDD. You can download the recording’s audio + video files from that link.

May 16, 2023 –  In-person `Living With Hearing Loss` by Margaret Myatt.

We learned quite a few things from Margaret, VP of HLAA Downeast Chapter, and Debra Bare-Rogers of Disability Rights Maine  during this 1 hour session. Thanks to the Louis T Graves Memorial Public Library of Kennebunkport, ME, for providing space for this session. 

Follow this link to the Powerpoint presentation.  

April 13, 2023 –  Online G-Meet. `Cochlear Implant Candidacy and Support`

Presented by Carla White, AuD.  Zoom, not recorded. 

Topics included:

  • What is a cochlear implant (c.i.) and its history,
  • How to determine whether this hearing technology will help you, and
  • How to get support if you get a c.i. (e.g., SayWhatClub).

The important takeaway is that a cochlear implant is a treatment rather than a cure, and getting a c.i. is a journey (often 6 months per ear) which differs for everyone. [Read more…]

February 9, 2023 – Zoom meeting.  ‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Hearing Aids’ presented by Larry Medwetsky, Ph.D.
December 15, 2022 – In-person meeting, Ellsworth, Maine. 

‘Strategies For Dealing With the Holidays’ presented by Pat Dobbs.

December 8, 2022 – Zoom meeting.  ‘Understanding Your Audiogram’ presented by Brad Ingrao.
October 6, 2022 – In-person meeting, Ellsworth, Maine. 

Open forum about living with hearing loss chaired by  Pat Dobbs. 

September 29, 2022Zoom meeting.  2022 HLAA Convention highlights presented by Margaret Myatt
June 17, 2022In-person meeting, Ellsworth, Maine Public Library.

Introductions and open discussion chaired by Pat Dobbs.

May 26, 2022Zoom meeting.  Introductions and open discussion chaired by Pat Dobbs.

Well attended considering this was our very first public meeting. [No recording.]